Module 5: Securing External FundingToolbox
5.6 Writing Successful Proposals

closeup of hands writing on a file Writing successful proposals requires the following:

  • A thorough understanding of the activities being proposed, including scientific evidence showing why the proposed activities will be beneficial.
  • The ability to present ideas in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner.
  • The necessary knowledge to demonstrate how all aspects of the project will be managed.
  • The ability to explain how the project will be evaluated, describe the effectiveness of activities, and discuss outcomes.

Many excellent grantsmanship resources are available. For example, the Foundation Center provides 1-hour free training courses, online courses through its virtual classroom, a book on proposal writing, and classes in selected U.S. cities. Three online courses available from the center are “An Orientation to Grantseeking,” “Guide to Funding Research,” and “Proposal Writing Short Course.” The center also offers topical reading lists, an online bookshelf, and a glossary.

Government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and nonprofit organizations provide seminars, courses, and manuals on grantwriting. Local foundations may also sponsor courses or provide technical assistance with grantwriting.